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Proposition 30 or 38? Which Should You Choose?

Many local educators support Proposition 30. But voters can choose between that measure and Proposition 38, which also funds schools. What the difference between them?

Tuesday’s election promises to bring much needed help to California’s ailing educational system.

Two propositions, 30 and 38, will be on the ballot. And both aim to bring funding to the state’s severely underfund schools. On the east end of the San Gabriel Valley, Proposition 30, sponsored by Governor Jerry Brown, has gotten much of the press.

Parents and educators have spoken to school boards across the area and even city councils, including La Verne, San Dimas and Claremont, lobbying for support of Prop 30.

Meantime, supporters of Proposition 38 have enlisted the help of actor Edward James Olmos to promote that measure.

There’s little doubt both would have a great impact, not just throughout the state, but locally. But which one is the best choice? And what’s the difference between them?

Edsource.org breaks it down in an easy to understand way with some detail. But below are the basics.

Proposition 30

  • Sponsored by Governor Jerry Brown
  • It raises money for schools by raising the sales tax by a quarter cent for the next four years. And for the next seven years, it would also raise personal income tax by 1 percent for those earning $250,000 to $300,000, by 2 percent for those earning $300,000 to $500,000 and by 3 percent for those earning more than $500,000 a year.
  • Funds will be given to the schools this fiscal year. It’s expected to raise $6 billion.
  • Of the funds raised, 40 to 60 percent go into an Education Protection Account. The balance can be used for other state programs.
  • Education boards must decide how to use the money during open meetings. Audits by school boards and the state controller will be conducted.

Proposition 38

  • Sponsored by attorney and philanthropist Molly Munger of the Advancement Project.
  • The measure raises money by raising personal income tax on everyone for 12 years starting Jan. 1. Those earning $7,316 and above will see an increase of 0.4 percent. Taxes for incomes above $2.5 million would be increased by 2.2 percent.
  • Funds would begin to go to schools in 2013-14. It is expected to raise $10 billion annually.
  • Thirty percent of the funds raised would be used to pay down state bond debt for the first four years.
  • Funds go into a new California Education Trust Fund that is overseen by a Fiscal Oversight Group composed of five key state officials.
  • The oversight board can authorize independent audits and schools must display budgets publicly and produce annual reports on how the funds are used.

Most are supporting Proposition 30 because it stops $6 billion in cuts that will hit schools and community colleges at the start of the coming year and because it begins pumping money into the educational system immediately.

Voters can vote yes on both propositions. The one with the most yes votes will take effect.

Both would make California’s personal income tax rate the highest in the country for the highest earners. Prop. 30 would raise it to 13.1 percent. Prop. 38 would raise it to 12.5 percent.

Edsource.org compares the propositions side in graphic form. Claremont McKenna’s Video Voter Series 2012 also compares the basic features of the two as well.

For local election coverage, see our Election Guide 2012 topic page here.

D November 06, 2012 at 03:59 AM
I'm confused ... I don't want a "education proposal" to generate money for NON-education programs, PERIOD! Is Prop 30 a sneaky way to give up to 60% on the money to NON-SCHOOL programs? If so, does Prop 38 do this too... or does all Prop 38 Money go to education programs? Can someone break this down for me?
Halene M. Giddens November 06, 2012 at 04:48 AM
I think with both props at least part of the money is going towards paying California's debts.
Francis November 06, 2012 at 05:15 AM
I agree we need to have funds to support school and some basic infrastructure needs. The issue I have with #38 is that there will be a .4% tax hike for the low and middle income. #30 has a quater cent increase on state sales tax. Can someone explain how this quarter cent sales tax increase work? Is that a 1/4 cent for every transaction?
Kat Han November 06, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Prop 30 will fund K-12, UC/CSU and community colleges, as well as public safety. Tax ONLY the wealthy, which is the 1%. Prop 38 will ONLY fund preschools AND tax the middle class.
Kat Han November 06, 2012 at 05:50 AM
I am a college student. Therefore I need money to support education. I am asking you to vote with your hearts, brains, and souls. Vote YES on Prop 30. Thank you for your cooperation.
orin taylor sr November 06, 2012 at 07:47 AM
No on both!
Donna Williams November 06, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I agree with Orin. California taxes already include over 60% of our money to take care of our failed school system. Why is that? We spend most of our money to pay for an overload of administrators, but not for the classrooms and teachers. No school district needs 7 or more superintendents to oversee that district. We have wasted so much money on high salaries and union propoganda, and that causes our children to lose what they have a right to own...a good education. If we slim down the top then more money can go to the teachers. There is no reason in the world why the money we are throwing at schools shouldnt be enough. I say no to both propositions. Taxpayers have been held hostage at every turn when it comes to schools. There is never enough. Our money is being wasted and our kids are not getting an education worthy of this great country.
Charles Akers November 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM
I agree with Orin. As a recently retired state employee in a management position I have seen the waste and corruption in state government first hand. I will not vote to raise taxes for any purpose until we have a shakeup in our elected officials and get the state back on track to honesty and integrity. All we hear about for Prop 30 is schools. Read the fine print, schools do NOT get most of the money. Look at teh budget and spending processes in California for the last thirty years. Do you think for one minute that they will use the additional tax money to get us out of our finincial hole? No way, they will dig the hole deeper and when it comes time for the tax increases to expire, guess what, they will be extended or made permanent. Wake up California .... WAKE UP.
laura harich November 06, 2012 at 05:42 PM
That's not true. 38 will fund K-12 and Early Childhood Education. 60% K12, 10% ECE, 30% to school bond debt.
Darren Dumas November 06, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Yes Charles & Orin! I'm a H.S. teacher & former M.S. secretary responsible for spending all the $ going in/out of our school. The system is messed up, which is why they don't have 'enough' $. It needs to be fixed not give them more $ to waste. Two examples: A window in the front office was broken from vandalism. I drew up a purchase order to fix the window. The window HAD to be fixed by our M&O department due to the union, taking 2 weeks. Curious, I called a window co. nearby. They could have fixed it that day at 1/2 the price we were charged by our school district. 2nd example: I had to purchase a new photocopier for our staff room. After shopping for the best deal, I found that I 'had' to use our contracted company which was more expensive. The photocopier we needed to met our needs cost more than the $ that was in the categorical fund. I had leftover $ in our textbook fund but couldn't use it. I couldn't wait to get the $ for the following year because they zero the account at the end of the year. I had to buy a photocopier that did not really fit our needs. The textbook $ was spent randomly because if you don't use it you lose it & don't get that amount of $ the next year. I had to use the $ in the category for photocopiers because we would lose that too. Does this sound like how you would run your finances? No, you would save your $, wait for more to buy what you need. Fix the system! Don't throw more $ at it! These are just 2 examples, Imagine how many more! No more $!

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